Soni, Song Named 2009 Sullivan Award Finalists
March 23, 2010
USC sophomore golfer Jennifer Song and 2009 USC graduate and current volunteer assistant swimming coach Rebecca Soni are among 14 semifinalists for the 80th annual AAU Sullivan Award, which honors the outstanding amateur athlete in the USA.
Presented annually since 1930, the Sullivan Award also is based on leadership, character, sportsmanship and the ideals of amateurism.
Online voting will determine the finalists for the award (based on 2009 accomplishments). The finalists will be announced on or before April 2 while the award will be presented on April 14 in New York City.
To vote online, visit the USA Today AAU Sullivan link here .
A link to all 14 finalists is here.
Song, as a USC freshman in 2009, finished in the top 7 in six of seven collegiate events, including five in the top 2. She was second at the NCAA Championships, second at the NCAA Regional Championships and tied for first (before losing in a playoff) at the Pac-10 Championships. She finished the season setting a USC record for lowest stroke average in a season. She then participated as an amateur in numerous major events during the 2009 summer. She became the first woman in 21 years - and only the second woman ever - to win two U.S. Golf Association Championships in the same season. Song first won the U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links in June and followed it with a title at the U.S. Women's Amateur in August. She was also the low amateur at the 2009 U.S. Women's Open and won her first two collegiate tournaments as a sophomore in the 2009 fall. Additionally, she also received an LPGA Tour playing exemption into the Hana Bank - KOLON Championship in Incheon, South Korea in October. She was named National Golf Coaches Association All American First Team and Freshman of the Year honors. Song was the No. 3 ranked individual player in the country and also earned 2009 All-Pac 10 Freshman of the Year and All-Pac 10 first team honors.
Soni, after graduating from USC in May of 2009, solidified her standing as one of the top breaststroke swimmers ever when she followed up her 2008 Olympic success with a gold medal in the 100m breast (setting a world record in prelims) at the 2009 World Championships and silver in the 50m breast. She was also fourth in the 200m breast. Rebecca won breaststroke titles in the 100m and 200m at the U.S. World Championships Trials and at the U.S. Spring Nationals. She set two short course meters world records at the 2009 Duel in the Pool, winning the 100m and 200m breast against the European all-star team. Soni also completed her senior year at USC in the spring of 2009 by winning her fifth and sixth NCAA and Pac-10 titles in the 100y and 200y breast. Her NCAA title in the 200y breast was her fourth in a row and made her the first woman ever to win the race four times. This outstanding swimmer was voted the 2009 U.S. Female Swimmer of the Year. She was a finalist for the Honda Award for Swimming and was named as Co-captain for the Trojans.